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UN Ambassador Barton comments on maternal & child health and family planning & reproductive health at UNFPA board meeting

During an Executive Board Meeting of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) U.S. Representative to the United Nations (UN) Ambassador Rick Barton provided remarks on the progress and challenges that remain in reducing maternal mortality and improving access to reproductive health. Ambassador Burton highlighted U.S. efforts, through the Global Health Initiative (GHI) and engagement with multilateral organizations, to improve maternal & child health (MCH) and access to family planning & reproductive health (FP/RH) services.

Administration releases “Global Health Initiative Supplemental Guidance on Women, Girls, and Gender Equality Principle”

The Administration released the “Global Health Initiative Supplemental Guidance on Women, Girls, and Gender Equality Principle,” which expands upon the goals and programming recommendations for women, girls, and gender equity under the GHI and includes specific requirements for GHI country strategies.

Administration officials testify before Congress on the FY 2012 budget request for global health and HIV/AIDS

U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator Ambassador Eric Goosby and U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Deputy Assistant Administrator for Global Health Amie Batson testified before the House Committee on Appropriations, Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs on the FY 2012 budget request for global health and HIV/AIDS.

H.R. 949 – Obstetric Fistula Prevention, Treatment, Hope, and Dignity Restoration Act of 2011

The proposed bill authorizes the President to provide assistance to “address the social and health issues that lead to obstetric fistula” and to “support treatment of obstetric fistula” by, among other things, increasing access to sexual and reproductive health services and improving health systems. The bill also calls for an annual report to Congress on the progress of U.S. efforts to reduce and address the impact of obstetric fistula.

Administration releases “The United States Global Health Initiative: Strategy Document”

The Administration released “The United States Global Health Initiative: Strategy Document,” which includes information on the operational plan, targets, and implementation of the Global Health Initiative (GHI).

USAID releases “Fiscal Year 2009 Report to Congress: Building Partnerships to Control Tuberculosis”

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) released “Fiscal Year 2009 Report to Congress: Building Partnerships to Control Tuberculosis.” The report provides an overview of U.S. assistance for TB country including country-level activities, contributions to health systems, research, and global partnerships.

S. 3317 – Haiti Empowerment, Assistance, and Rebuilding Act of 2010

The proposed bill authorizes a cumulative appropriation of $3.5 billion over fiscal years 2010 through 2014 to provide assistance for Haiti and states that the U.S. would support investments in, among other things, “health care delivery and capacity building to strengthen the overall health care system.”

Amendments: The proposed bill was amended in the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations to provide a cumulative appropriation of $2.0 billion over fiscal years 2010 and 2011.

Timeline of the Bill:

- Introduced and referred to the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations on May 5, 2010.

- Reported favorably with amendments out of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on May 25, 2010.

- Reported by Senator Kerry with a report (111-225) and placed on the Senate legislative calendar on July 19, 2010.

USAID joins “Helping Babies Breathe” partnership

The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) along with the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), Laerdal Medical AS, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), and Save the Children signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) “to reduce newborn mortality by expanding access to high-quality, affordable newborn resuscitation training materials and devices, improving the competence of birth attendants to resuscitate newborns, strengthening health systems and promoting global commitment and resources for life-saving newborn care.”

Administration releases the “Lantos-Hyde United States Government Malaria Strategy”

The strategy outlines the goals, targets, and interventions that will guide the USG malaria programs from 2009-2014. The strategy provides details on the role of USG malaria programs in the Global Health Initiative (GHI), including the President’s Malaria Initiative (PMI), and aims to reduce the impact of malaria by focusing on Africa, incorporating a woman-centered approach, limiting the spread of drug resistant malaria, integrating with other health interventions, strengthening health systems, and linking U.S. government efforts to host-country strategies.

H.R. 4933 – Global Health Act of 2010

The stated purpose of the bill “is to strengthen and improve the health systems . . . and the delivery of health services in developing countries” by:
– Establishing a 5-year “Global Health Strategy” that improves “the coordination and effectiveness of all health-related United States foreign assistance;”

- Providing assistance to developing countries to improve health systems and the delivery of health services;

- Supporting developing countries through efforts to strengthen and expand the supply of health workers through a “Global Health Workforce Initiative”; and

- Ensuring “that the laws and policies of the United States and multilateral organizations of which the United States is a member do not interfere with the ability of developing countries to establish and maintain skilled indigenous health workforces, to obtain pharmaceuticals and other medical supplies and equipment, or to otherwise develop the capacity of their health systems.”
The proposed bill also authorizes appropriations to carry out the purposes of the bill.